This investigation showed that a single bacterium was capable of sulfide oxidation in exposed ore bodies. This single bacterium was isolated and characterized. It exhibited different characteristics than any previously known organism. It was found to be a chemosynthetic autotroph. An optimum nutrient concentration was determined for pyrite oxidation. The nutrient concentration was determined for pyrite oxidation. The nutrient contains only a source of phosphate and nitrogen. Urea was found to be a better source of nitrogen than ammonium sulfate which had previously been used. The effect of various organic compounds on the oxidation of pyrite was observed. Glucose and sucrose showed no affect. Acetone slightly inhibited the oxidation. Benzene almost completely stopped the reaction. Kerosene showed no effect if the surface of the nutrient solution was not covered completely. It was found that a bacterium of the same type as that isolated in this investigation is responsible for sulfide oxidation at a location in Mexico. Thus, the oxidation of sulfides by bacteria is not a unique occurrence but is believed to occur wherever proper conditions are present.
College and Department
Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Chemistry and Biochemistry
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Jameson, A. Keith, "Chemosynthetic microorganisms in leaching sulfide minerals" (1957). Theses and Dissertations. 8240.
Sulfides, Microorganisms, Oxidation, Physiological